Day and night. Night and day. These are themes that run through the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—and they are awakening the praying church to new realms of intercession.
Fellowshipping with God through prayer and worship is what we were created for. It’s just that simple. Yet how easy is it to stray from this reality when the spirit of the world is tugging on your sleeve with trouble, with persecution, with the worries of this life, or with the deceitfulness of riches?
How easy is it? Too easy in an American church that’s being lulled to sleep by a false gospel working its way into our mindsets through compromised Christian television preachers and seeker-friendly congregations that look to make numbers rather than disciples.
Although I’m no stranger to the prayer movement, I was especially impacted by IHOP-Miami’s first-ever Night and Day conference at Ekklesia Church in Miami this past weekend. The building was hardly overflowing with Miamians seeking God, but the fiery spirits who gathered there were unified—and the group was rewarded with God’s manifest presence. IHOP-KC’s Justin Rizzo led worship while Brandon Hammonds ministered the Word on Saturday night.
The message came from Joel 2. Hammonds sounded two trumpets: a wake up call (Joel 2:1-2) and a call to prayer (Joel 2:15). Perhaps it impacted me so because of a prophetic word the Lord recently gave me about my own life as it relates to the prayer movement. Or perhaps it impacted me so because it was pure and simple truth that is less often trumpeted these days.
Or maybe it impacted me because I was knee-deep in Charisma News coverage of culture wars ranging from President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage to the threat of shariah law in America to police threating a Christian in Buffalo, N.Y., for handing out tracts to Americans being split over whether homosexuality is a sin to a New York appeals court ruling that it’s legal to view online child porn to foreign gods gaining ground in the U.S. … I could go on—and those are just headlines from the past week.
Whatever the reason, I walked away from the IHOP-Miami conference with an even greater sense of urgency for the cause of night and day prayer. And I suppose that was Hammond’s intent. With the Global Day of Prayer and Pentecost Sunday approaching, it’s time to renew our commitment to night and day prayer so that when the dust settles the intercession continues to rise.
When I explored Scripture, I found this running “night and day” and “day and night” theme I mentioned earlier. There is both biblical precedent and modern day history for night and day prayer and we can see the fruit of it in Scripture. God’s Word does not return to Him void, but it shall accomplish what He pleases and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). When we pray out His Word day and night, it will make an impact on the earth. It has to.
Day and night. We know that David, a prophetic worshipper, cried out to God day and night (Psalm 88:1). That left a mark on his son and heir, Solomon. When Solomon finished rebuilding the temple—and when he finished his prayer of dedication—he blessed the assembly. In that blessing, he declared, “May these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night” (1 Kings 8:59). We know that Nehemiah prayed before the Lord, day and night, while he was rebuilding the wall (Nehemiah 1:6). No matter what you are called to, day and night prayer is part of that calling.
Day and night. Jesus made us a promise around prayer in the Parable of the Unjust Judge: “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily …” (Luke 18:7-8). No matter what the enemy has stolen from you—no matter what injustice God has called you to confront—day and night prayer is the means to invite God’s righteous rule into the situation.
Night and day. Anna, an elderly prophetess, was one of the first to recognize the Messiah in the flesh. The Bible says she “did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). We know that Paul prayed day and night for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 3:9-11) and for his spiritual son Timothy (2 Tim. 1:3). Intercession for God’s will upon the earth is a night and day work because our enemy never sleeps.
There is a long history of day and night prayer works in the earth. About 1,000 years before Christ came to the earth, David commanded that the Ark of the Covenant be carried into Jerusalem on the shoulders of the Levites and placed in a tent. He hired 288 prophetic singers and 4,000 musicians to minister before the Lord night and day (1 Chron. 15:1–17:27).
In modern times, David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, established Prayer Mountain with night and day prayer in 1973. And in 1999, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., started a worship-based prayer meeting that has continued for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for more than 13 years.
Today, there are 24/7 houses of prayer and prayer mountains in every continent on the earth. I’m encouraged that the church is seeing a restoration of night and day—day and night—prayer among the nations. Houses of prayer are springing up around the world with a mandate to praise His name from the rising of the sun even to its going down (Malachi 1:11), to contend for justice, to cry out for revival, and to prepare a way for the Lord.
The question is: What role will you play in the prayer movement? It’s not about supporting a certain ministry or even agreeing with everything forerunners in this movement teach. It’s about a personal commitment to pray without ceasing as the Bible commands. We’re all called to intercede. Will you commit in this critical hour to pray for His will to be done and His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven? Will you sow that seed? Or will you allow the spirit of the world to distract you while the enemy brings more destruction?
I’m blowing the trumpet. Who hears me?